Archive for News
The Tampa Bay Times, the home of PolitiFact.com has gone online with PunditFact. The new site fact-checks your favorite (and least favorite) pundits.
PunditFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute, dedicated to checking the accuracy of claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers, political analysts, the hosts and guests of talk shows, and other members of the media.
The site has been live for less than a month, so the quantity of the rulings is small. But it’s entertaining to see who has gotten the most “Pants On Fire” rulings to date.
Please return to consuming mass quantities.
Wow! That’s terrific bunny …
Residents of Mount Gilead, a town of about 1,100 people in central North Carolina, are reeling from a police sting operation that netted 59 arrests the morning of Election Day. All of those arrested were African Americans, all for possession of drugs, alcohol and guns. Some there are questioning the timing of the bust and believe it was an attempt to intimidate African Americans from showing up at the polls that day.
StoneMor Partners, a Pennsylvania based cemetery company, has been quietly talking with Springfield Mayor Mike Houston and other top city officials about taking over management of Oak Ridge Cemetery.Calling StoneMor “a good company,” Houston acknowledged Tuesday that he has spoken with no other firms about taking over cemetery operations. He has said that the city plans to issue a request for proposals aimed at soliciting bids to privatize Abraham Lincoln’s final resting place. The city council must approve any management deal.
Rolling Jubilee, set up by Occupy’s Strike Debt group following the street protests that swept the world in 2011, launched on 15 November 2012. The group purchases personal debt cheaply from banks before “abolishing” it, freeing individuals from their bills.
By purchasing the debt at knockdown prices the group has managed to free $14,734,569.87 of personal debt, mainly medical debt, spending only $400,000.
UPDATE: I didn’t want people to miss part three of this series by Josh Holland at Bill Moyers’ place.
And the irony is that many households pay no income taxes as a result of a policy that conservative politicians have long favored. As David Cay Johnston, author of Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and Cheat Everybody Else, told Moyers & Company in October, the situation is primarily due to the child tax credit Republicans put in place in the ’90s. “A married couple with two children does not pay any federal income taxes until they make at least $44,000 a year,” said Johnston. “And with a little bit of tax planning, you could make $70,000 and pay no federal income tax. So the Republicans create this situation where middle-income families with children pay no income tax and then they complain about it.”
That working couples with kids making up to $70,000 are routinely shamed as deadbeats and freeloaders says a lot about the nature of our political discourse regarding these issues.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Dylan Scott of Talking Points Memo take on the misleading media reporting and deceptive insurer letters directed at Obamacare. It’s a version of the nominal vs. effective corporate tax rate debate. You hear more about the “high” U.S. nominal rate and little about what companies actually pay (some pay nothing). The stories about the costs of Obamacare coverage are similar. The stories are all about sticker shock and cancelled policies, with virtually no coverage of what people actually pay.
Saw this yesterday, but Susie beat me to it. NJ Democrat, Rep. Bill Pascrell :
Susie says, “I have a favorite T-shirt that says, “I’m not angry, I’m from Philly.” I bought it because people always seem to think I’m being hostile when I’m just a little more, um, direct than most people. (If I ever do go ballistic, you’ll know.)”
Pascrell’s target in this “direct” exchange is former interim U.S. attorney and T-party candidate, Rep. Tim Griffin (R – Arkansas), who resigned his earlier job “a day after the BBC broadcast linking him to illegal ‘voter caging.’” Griffin has just announced he will not seek another term so he can spend more time with the family, as they say in Washington.
But perhaps Griffin will be remembered as he didn’t want to be—for the 2004 “voter caging” story. In 2004 the Bush-Cheney campaign and RNC sent mail to voters’ addresses to check whether those addresses were current. If the mail bounced back, the names were “caged,” and the party had reason to challenge the ballots of these voters if they showed up. In 2004, while at the RNC, Griffin received spreadsheets of “caged voters”—a fact that came up during his confirmation process when he was seeking to become a U.S. attorney. Greg Palast, the muckraking journalist who had originally reported the story, also argued that the voters being targeted were disproportinately nonwhite. That sort of discrimination would have been illegal.
What’s that saying about never going full on something or other?
(Video courtesy of dixiegirlz.)
Wow! That’s terrific bunny …
(Worked fine for me on Sunday.)
Some people think that the system was underfunded: Donald Berwick, who administered the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2010 and 2011,says the site failed because they didn’t have enough money to build it from the start. Others point fingers at the Department of Health and Human Services, which took years to issue final specifications, preventing CGI from really getting started until this spring.
Either way, it’s clear that the site itself isn’t well constructed: IT professionals told the Wall Street Journal that in addition to specific pieces not working, the whole thing was “built on a sloppy software foundation,” potentially due to the haste with which code was written. Slate described just how difficult it is to coordinate multiple contractors creating different components of a complex Web portal.
Remember false memory syndrome?
Jonathan: Talk more about that. Why are you afraid of him? He’s taller than I am, but he’s barely bigger than I am.
Jackson: Size doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in his heart. He does not have the American people’s best interests at heart. He doesn’t respect the American people as a whole. There have been many veterans groups that asked to have meetings with him or come to the White House and have a picnic on the East Lawn and he said no. And at the same time, this was about two years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood had 1,000 of their people come to the East Lawn for a prayer session.
Capehart: The Muslim brotherhood had….?
Jackson: They had a huge gathering. They had prayer on the East Lawn of the White House. It was in the news.
Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said on Wednesday afternoon that their female colleagues can take most of the credit for driving the compromise that is expected to temporarily reopen the U.S. government and raise the debt ceiling before Thursday’s deadline.
“Leadership, I must fully admit, was provided primarily from women in the Senate,” McCain said after the bipartisan deal was announced.
Working Families Party shakes up New York city politics (video from this summer), backing Democrat Bill DeBlasio for mayor. DeBlasio leads in the polls. Their “long game” is paying off, says the New York Post:
“On the issues they care about, from minimum wage to tenant issues to development, they are absolutely definitional — they can set the debate at the city and the state level,” de Blasio said of the WFP in 2010.
The party, founded in 1998 to take advantage of New York’s fusion voting system, which allows candidates to run on multiple ballot lines, effectively represents organized labor. Despite its small membership, its used its ballot line and operational resources to push Democratic officials farther left, and elect new ones who are already there. That plan has paid off.
Wow! That’s terrific bunny …
L.A. beat Atlanta in the NLDS Series and the Dodgers from refuse to negotiate. One Atlanta fan asks Congress to “outlaw Major League Baseball until the Dodgers cave”:
Like you, I am sure, I am profoundly disappointed that Atlanta lost the NLDS last night. And to the Dodgers — a bunch of California liberals!
This outrage cannot be allowed to stand. But the system has failed us. We tried to resolve this issue through traditional means: In last night’s game alone, we must have sent batters to the plate at least 40 times. But just because we couldn’t score enough runs, the Dodgers refuse to relinquish the title — and worse, they won’t even discuss it.
Today the white notables of the South increasingly live in states like Texas, which already have nonwhite majorities. They fear that Obama’s election, like Lincoln’s, foreshadows the emergence of a new national majority coalition that excludes them and will act against their interest. Having been reduced to the status of members of a minority race, they fear they will next lose their status as members of the dominant local class.
[Lauri] Hennesey represents the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports, a front group for coal mining and rail corporations that would profit from the export of Powder River Basin coal. Listen to her hallway conversation with some Arch Coal executives reflecting on the prospects of coal export terminal proposals in the Northwest: http://youtu.be/94CPd1RFP4Y
Profit has no allegiances. Ask anyone who’s ever been laid off.
From New York to Silicon Valley, more and more large American corporations are reducing their tax bill by buying a foreign company and effectively renouncing their United States citizenship.
For those of you late to blogging culture who might not know it, Seattle-based Orcinus was one of the best. Investigative journalist Dave Neiwert shuttered Orcinus awhile back to take a shift as executive editor of Crooks and Liars and later to concentrate on writing several books. Now Orcinus is back.
Neiwert is the blogosphere’s go-to guy for developments on the violent, fringe right. His first installment is on the fascist tilt to Russia’s anti-gay laws. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. His writing has earned Neiwert a National Press Club award for Distinguished Online Journalism.
Dave’s most recent book, “And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border,” is an account of the trial of Minuteman leader Shawna Forde and her associates for an Arizona home invasion and murder in pursuit of drug money to fund their vigilante activities.
“There is no more dogged or more courageous chronicler of the radical American Right than Dave Neiwert. In this latest work, he has found a human tragedy that is both utterly heartbreaking and utterly infuriating. He is the polestar by which we navigate the great distance between what we claim to be as a people, and what we truly are. A devastating, and extremely important, book.”
– Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Magazine, author of Idiot America: How Stupidity Became A Virtue In The Land Of The Free
Welcome back, Dave.